Game Thread: New York Knicks @ Toronto Raptors 12/31/2020 7:30 pm [Game #5]


Staff member



(2-2) -- (0-3)

Amalie Arena, Tampa, FLMSG7:30 PM EST

Probable starters:



Injury Report

New York KnicksToronto Raptors
Kevin Knox - Sore left knee (PROB)Patrick McCaw - Left Knee Surgery (QUEST)
Alec Burks - Sprained left ankle (QUEST)-
Austin Rivers - Sore right groin (QUEST)-
Immanuel Quickley - Sore left hip (QUEST)-
Frank Ntilikina - Sprained right knee (OUT)-
Omari Spellman - Sore right knee (OUT)-
Dennis Smith Jr. - Contused Left Quadricep (OUT)-
Obi Toppin - Strained right calf (OUT)-

Game Preview

The New York Knicks go for their third straight victory Thursday night when they visit the temporary home of the winless Toronto Raptors at Tampa, Fla.

The Knicks, led by Julius Randle's triple-double, defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-86 Tuesday night and have two wins in four games.

The Raptors have lost their first three games after falling to the Philadelphia 76ers 100-93 on Tuesday despite leading by 14 points in the second half. Toronto has not started a season so poorly since an 0-9 start in 2005-06.

The Raptors have won eight consecutive games against the Knicks.

Randle had 28 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as the Knicks handed the Cavaliers their first loss in four games. It was his seventh career triple-double, his first with the Knicks.

Randle lost some weight to prepare for his second season with the Knicks, who started a four-game road trip Tuesday.

"They challenged me going into the offseason to come back a better player," Randle said. "I'm going to put that pressure on myself as well to challenge myself and get better every year. Last year was a great learning experience for me. But this year I'm coming back a better player and came back in great shape. And that's just part of the culture we're building. We're competing and not backing down from anybody."

"I saw what type of shape he was in, so I knew he was highly motivated," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I think that's a big advantage for him. I also think he has a pretty good understanding of his teammates and what their strengths are. And he's playing unselfishly."

Elfrid Payton scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter Tuesday and added seven assists and eight rebounds in his second successive strong outing.

Reggie Bullock made five 3-pointers -- the Knicks shot 56.0 percent (14 of 25) from beyond the arc -- and finished with 17 points.

The Knicks continue to deal with injuries. Obi Toppin (calf), Austin Rivers (groin), Immanuel Quickley (hip), Dennis Smith Jr. (quad) and Alec Burks (ankle) were inactive on Tuesday.

The Raptors had another poor third quarter on Tuesday and failed to make big plays at key points in the fourth.

"We don't have time to waste no more," said Toronto guard Kyle Lowry, who scored 24 points Tuesday and added nine assists and eight rebounds. "We're 0-3 and we need a win really, really, really bad, and I feel like we're getting to that point where it's a must-win. We've got to do everything we possibly can to win the next game (Thursday)."

Pascal Siakam, who was ineffective in the fourth quarter again, fouled out with about 25 seconds left and walked straight to the locker room area. He was missed 15 of his 23 shots in scoring 20 points.

"I didn't see that, I'm sure I will hear about it," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "I'll address it when I get back in the locker room. I'm sure he was frustrated."

Siakam committed five of his fouls in the final six minutes.

"He's got to get a little stronger at the end of his drives," Nurse said. "He's got to play to make a tough finishing basket rather than playing for the possible foul."

--Field Level Media



Thanks for the Game-Thread Rady, the Raptors are the team to beat right now at 0-3 .. Tonight game may be the challenge the Thibs/Randle Knicks need to start playing on the same-page to give the Raptors a 0-4 record tonite lol

Austin Rivers said he hasn?t had a chance to play 5-on-5 yet but he?ll play tonight. He said groin injury happened a few days before he signed with the Knicks and had been lingering.

Knicks have updated Quickley and Burks from questionable to out for tonight's game vs. the Raptors.
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Knicks 2-20 from downtown but still in this thing. Let?s go! Hometown kid Knox having a ball.


Half-Time 42-42 .. Defensive first half

Knicks need to stop with the 3-ball shots and score 2 pts on offense


I guess that it’s encouraging to go 2 for 20 from 3 and still have a tie game at the half.

At the end of the day .. Knicks shot 3-36 from the 3-ball line!
When should the coach say, "STOP! No more 3 ball shooting."?
The answer is .. At Halftime .. After we shot 2-20 !!!


All Star
RJ will have to improve and again not worried about him. He does need to be coached up to find ways to get easy baskets and let the game come to him ever slowly by getting a feel to how he?s being defended and if he doesn?t have his touch early

With that being said the gift and curse of D?Antoni and Curry era basketball by taking more 3s than necessary. It shouldn?t be the end all be all to what teams do on a night-to-night basis

It?s incredibly ugly basketball when the 3-ball isn?t hitting and the team keeps hoisting 3 after 3...smh


TOR caught a break when the backup C (Baynes) went out with an injury... Alex Len came in and goes 3-3 from downtown in a 5-minute span. That kept NYK from pulling away with a lead, and stabilized the game for TOR through their subs...

Then, it?s 76-73 and they go on a 15-1 run.
3, 3, 3 (off a missed FT). TOR goes 17-52 from downtown, but in the 4th when a barrage of them rained down from the sky, the Knicks couldn?t respond.

Knicks kept shooting the 3, but they never caught a hot streak and TOR was able to pull away in the 4th.

RJ was abysmal from deep, and the dynamic duo of EP-Randle failed to keep pace with FVF and Lowry (out scoring them 45-30).

Now, a bit of perspective: Knicks were playing their 4th game in 6 days, and were undermanned this week. TOR was 0-3 entering the game and down Siakum.... you knew they were going to be locked in and focused and bringing the energy, and you knew the game would be in their backcourt hands.

I felt we hung in there and battled. They refused to let TOR pull away in the first half, they took control of the game in the third quarter, and they made it a game early in the fourth.

Then their legs failed them, TOR drained a flurry of shots and we couldn?t hit enough 3s to get back into the game.

While this game reminds us that we can?t depend on the Randle-EP duo, nor can we rely on the three-point shot, this loss isn?t a soul crusher or indicative of a false Positive, and that our 2-2 record won?t be this season?s plateau or high water Mark.



ESPN Stats & Info
The Knicks' starters went 0-23 on 3-pointers tonight.

That is the most misses without a make by a starting 5 all-time.


Clyde talking about that 2-2 and one zone that Nurse used, if I'm not mistaken thats the Box and one they used against the Dubs to secure their title. Thibs might think about incorporating it in his D, it sure cooled the Knicks heels. Though I don't think you can blame RJ 20+ straight misses from deep on the D. His perimeter shooting was the reason he didn't make any all rookie teams last year.


RJ didn?t make rookie all star team bc he had poor shooting numbers AND he was on a terrible team with a bad roster...

ESPN Stats & Info
Reggie Bullock (0-9) and RJ Barrett (0-8) went a combined 0-17 from 3-point range tonight.

They are the 1st pair of teammates in NBA history to each go 0-8 or worse from 3-point range in a game.

So, what?s the excuse for Bullock? He?s been shooting poorly and he?s a vet. We imagine when RJ is 24 his shooting numbers will be fine.